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Our Team


Our team is based at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus and works with faculty, students, and community partners on numerous projects in worker health, safety, and wellness. Find out more about the Center.

Read more about our MAP ERC Faculty here.



Lee S. Newman, MD, MA, FCCP, FACOEM

Director, Center for Health, Work & Environment

Dr. Newman is the founding Director of the NIOSH-funded Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC). Dr. Newman is a Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health and a Professor of Epidemiology in the Colorado School of Public Health. He is also Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology a​nd the Division of Pulmonary Science and Critical Care Medicine in the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado-Denver.


Read full bio here 





Liliana Tenney Starr, MPH

Deputy Director, Center for Health, Work & Environment

Lili received her Masters of Public Health degree from the Colorado School of Public Health. Her research interests include workplace wellness programs and community and behavioral health. She co-founded Health LinksTM, a program in the Center for Health, Work & Environment. Before pursuing her MPH and working at the Mountain and Plains ERC, Lili developed a strong background in marketing, business development, and social media with her work in event production, health promotion, and wellness.





John Adgate, Ph.D.

Associate Director & Chair, Occupational and Environmental Health Department

Dr. Adgate's research focuses on improving exposure assessment in epidemiologic studies – studying the factors that affect the health and illness of entire populations – by documenting the magnitude and variability of human exposure to air pollutants, pesticides, metals, and allergens. Some of his research projects have included evaluating methods that might help to reduce lead poisoning in the home, outcomes of long-term exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollutants, and a controlled trial to test an allergen reduction intervention in inner city residences.





Carol Brown, Ph.D.

Associate Director for Research, Center for Health, Work & Environment

Carol coordinates evaluation and assessment procedures for the Center and Colorado School of Public Health. She received a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Southern California (USC) and a B.A. in Psychology from Oklahoma State University. Prior to joining the Colorado School of Public Health, Carol conducted program evaluations for the graduate school at USC.



Michelle Haan, MPH

Health LinksTM Program Manager, Center for Health, Work & Environment

Michelle received her Master of Public Health degree from the Colorado School of Public Health with a focus on Community and Behavioral Health. Michelle enjoys managing the Health Links program and assisting with the many projects that are run through the Center. Michelle is passionate about connecting with people throughout the community and learning how to help empower them to make choices to live safer and healthier lives.


Sara Higgins

Finance Director, Center for Health, Work & Environment

Sara has been with University of Colorado since 1999 and has done all aspects of budget management for Dr. Newman since the MAP ERC began in 2007. She has experience with accounting, budget management, grants, contracts, subcontracts/pilot projects, and general office administration.




Natalie Schwatka, Ph.D.

Research Associate and CSPH Instructor, Center for Health, Work & Environment

Natalie received her Ph.D. in Environmental Health from Colorado State University, and her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Portland. Natalie’s research interests include leadership, safety climate/culture, workplace wellness programs, and the development and evaluation of leading indicators of workplace health and safety. Natalie is passionate about working with community partners on applied research projects that ultimately result in improved academic and practical knowledge.



Jana Gurkin, MPH

Director of Outreach and Communications, Center for Health, Work & Environment 

Jana grew up in Casper, Wyoming, and attended Colorado State University for a B.A. in Journalism and Communications. Following graduation, she decided to pursue her passion for health and wellness by attending the University of Texas Health Science Center for a Master's in Public Health. She has worked in worksite wellness programming and communications, as well as environmental programs in substance abuse and suicide prevention. She's very excited about being part of the Center for Worker Health and Environment and having the opportunity to work with individuals and organizations doing amazing things.




Brenda Thompson

Administrative Coordinator and Finance Assistant

Brenda is a Colorado native and graduated from CU-Boulder. She assists the Finance Director and provides administrative support to the Center, coordinating Center events and schedules.





Roxana Witter, MD, MSPH

Director, OEM Residency Program​ & Associate Professor

Dr. Witter is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. She is the Program Director for the Occupational Medicine Residency Program and mentors several occupational medicine residents each year. She is Co-Director of the MAP ERC Occupational Health Interdisciplinary Symposium and has previously been Director of the Occupational Toxicology MPH course.



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